Author Topic: 'Unarmed Bodyguard' to Speak About Guatemala  (Read 2305 times)

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Offline mayya

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'Unarmed Bodyguard' to Speak About Guatemala
« on: October 04, 2013, 17:17:54 PM »
'Unarmed Bodyguard' to Speak About Guatemala
 Published Date: Thursday, 03 October 2013 04:12


Chrissy Raudonis of the Guatemala Accompaniment Project (GAP) will speak about her work at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4, at the World Fellowship Center's Lloyd Lodge, 368 Drake Hill Road, in Albany. Her presentation will be preceded by a 6 p.m. potluck supper.

A 2011 graduate of Marlboro College, with a bachelor of arts in environmental studies and Spanish, Raudonis spent the past year primarily in the Ixil region of Guatemala, where many of the worst massacres of Guatemala's civil war occurred during the 1980s. Raudonis, who lives in upstate New York, and has been in New Hampshire since Sept. 30, making presentations to high schools, colleges, and community groups.

Many who witnessed and survived the Guatemalan massacres have organized themselves as the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR), to accuse and bring to trial the former military and political leaders of the country. Raudonis was one of many accompaniers from the US and other countries whose presence and support of their efforts helped deter threats and violence against these Guatemalans and their legal organization, Center for Legal Action on Human Rights (known by its Spanish acronym, CALDH). The recent trial of former dictator Rios Montt for the crime of genocide was one result of the work of the AJR and CALDH, with ongoing accompaniment from GAP.

GAP works to protect human rights by placing volunteers with individuals, communities and organizations working on sensitive issues ranging from precedent-setting legal cases to indigenous rights and environmental justice. The idea is that the presence of international observers makes it less likely that they will be attacked. These accompaniers have been called "unarmed bodyguards." GAP is a project of the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA).

World Fellowship co-directors Andrea Walsh and Andy Davis helped found GAP in 1995, and over the years three GAP annual meetings have been held at the Albany center, bringing together both U.S. and Guatemala staff and volunteers to share information and set organizational priorities.

This event is co-sponsored by World Fellowship and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Eastern Slopes. For more information, please call Andrea at (603) 447-2549.